U SPORTS is pleased to announce the 2021 University Swimming Challenge, a new national competition held virtually in partnership with Swimming Canada and organized by member programs is set to kick off this weekend across the country.

Running for five weeks from Feb. 27–Apr. 4, all U SPORTS eligible swimmers will have the opportunity to post times in any of 41 events – including all 38 in the U SPORTS championship program, as well as the 100m individual medley, 200m freestyle, and the 4x50m individual medley relay.

U SPORTS swimming members will be responsible for running their respective events safely within the identified window and setting up sessions in the format that best suits each team’s individual circumstances. Priority for participation will be given to adherence to COVID-19 safety guidelines as determined by each province and facility.

“We are excited to offer the University Swimming Challenge to provide some meaningful participatory competition for our student-athletes in a safe and virtual manner where possible, while adhering to various provincial and institutional regulations. We appreciate the collaboration of Swimming Canada and our swimming membership and community, for proposing a creative concept that will allow us to promote continued development of the sport.”

Lisette Johnson-Stapley – Chief Sport Officer, U SPORTS

All swims will be conducted in short-course (25m) format, with the best time per swimmer counting in the final rankings. As the University Swimming Challenge is not considered an official national championship, no qualifying times are required to participate, there is no limit on the number of participants per school, and no major award winners or records will be recognized.

Instead, U SPORTS and Swimming Canada will publish weekly online updates showcasing team standings, top-ranked swimmers in each event, and highlight individual top performances on its digital channels.

Live stats throughout the competition will also be available at swimming.ca

“This is a great opportunity for U SPORTS swimmers to once again step on the blocks in a competitive environment and virtually challenge swimmers from other institutions across the country.”

Iain McDonald – Swimming Canada’s Associate High Performance Director, Olympic Program